Treasury Dept. orders Trump’s name to be printed on coronavirus stimulus checks
President Trump’s name will be printed on the paper stimulus checks being sent to millions of American workers impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, a Treasury Department spokeswoman confirmed to The Hill.
The move, which marks the first time a president’s name will appear on a disbursement from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), will cause delays for some of the $1,200 payments Congress approved in the $2 trillion stimulus package last month, two senior agency officials told The Washington Post, which first reported the development on Tuesday
The Treasury Department denied that the development caused a delay, saying that the “Economic Impact Payment checks are scheduled to go out on time and exactly as planned.”
Trump’s full name will appear on the memo line, the Treasury Department confirmed. About 70 million Americans are expected to receive the check with Trump’s name.
The move to place Trump’s name on the checks came after the president privately suggested doing so to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Post reported.
A president is not authorized to be a signer for legal disbursements by the U.S. Treasury, but administration officials said that Trump’s name would instead be featured below a line that reads, “Economic Impact Payment.”
An official from the Treasury Department’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service will be the official signatory of the stimulus checks.
The checks are set to be mailed to individuals the IRS does not have banking information for, the Post reported, noting that the payments are separate from the ones the agency deposited to 80 million Americans’ bank accounts earlier this week. The direct deposit payments don’t bear Trump’s name.
A Treasury official told the Post that the decision regarding the new checks was communicated to the IRS’s information technology team on Tuesday. Adding Trump’s name involves altering computer code that could delay the payments, the official said.
A Treasury spokeswoman said in a statement that the Post’s report was “inaccurate and misleading.”
Monica Crowley said that the checks are scheduled to go out with “no delay whatsoever.”
“Treasury and the IRS have worked around the clock to get fast and direct assistance to hardworking Americans,” she added, without mentioning whether Trump’s name would be on the checks.
Treasury spokesperson response to last night’s inaccurate and misleading Washington Post story: pic.twitter.com/5K7SNa6PFC
— Monica Crowley (@TreasurySpox) April 15, 2020
The $2 trillion economic relief package Trump signed last month was aimed at helping American workers and small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Under the legislation, Americans who made up to $75,000 in 2019 are eligible for the full $1,200 payment. Couples who filed taxes jointly and have an income of less than $150,000 can receive $2,400, with another $500 per child. Checks began arriving in Americans’ bank accounts last weekend, the IRS said.
Trump in early April denied wanting to sign the stimulus checks being doled out to Americans, following reports that he had expressed interest in doing so.
“Me sign? No,” Trump said during a White House briefing April 3. “There’s millions of checks. I’m going to sign them? No. It’s a Trump administration initiative. But do I want to sign them? No.”
Approximately 150 million Americans qualify for the one-time $1,200 payment, which is aimed at easing the economic impact of the pandemic for individuals.
The coronavirus outbreak led to a mass closure of nonessential businesses, as governors around the nation instituted stay-at-home measures to slow the spread of the disease. The virtual shutdown of the economy led to a staggering surge in unemployment claims, as many companies have laid off workers because of a halt to business.
Naomi Jagoda contributed to this report, which was updated on April 15 at 1:07 p.m.
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